Bill Would Limit How N.H. Politicians Can Spend Money Raised From Campaigns

Dec 27, 2019

Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The rules for how New Hampshire politicians can spend their campaign money could be tightened in the coming year.

Representative Anita Burroughs, a Democrat from Glen, says she decided to file a bill limiting campaign spending in direct response to NHPR reporting that revealed how some politicians have used campaign money to pay for floral arrangements, dry cleaning and car expenses.

While she understands lawmakers are in a tight spot, making only $100 a year, she says she doesn’t think it’s right to offset the extra costs of serving in the legislature with campaign money. Instead, she would prefer increasing legislators’ pay or setting up a different reimbursement process for State House-related expenses.

"Right now we all make our own choices, and I wouldn't make a choice to send flowers out of that campaign fund," she says. "But I do think it's important we set it straight what's okay and what's not okay."

Right now, the law govering campaign spending is only loosely definited, and lawmakers are largely left to determine on their own what constitues an acceptable expense.